Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Jew who is not involved in organization religion, will toss his hat in the political rang today and announce he is challenging Hillary Clinton to be the Democratic party’s nominee for president in 2016.
We would write that he is throwing his kippa into the ring except for the faint possibility that he even owns one.
Vermont Public News (VPR) reported, “Sanders will release a short statement….and then hold a major campaign kickoff in Vermont in several weeks…. Sanders’ basic message will be that the middle class in America has been decimated in the past two decades while wealthy people and corporations have flourished.”
Sanders is an Independent and a vocal critic of “corporate America” and the government’s proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal.
A socialist, the 73-year-old Sanders wants to make campaign finance reform, climate change and the rich-poor gap as the center of his campaign, and he will focus on the proposed TPP to try force Clinton to declare whether she supports or opposes it.
Sanders might be exactly what the United States needs, someone who is not afraid to challenge the “billionaire class” instead of cooperating with it while the middle class, as in almost every other western country, fells it is becoming an endangered species.
His being Jewish is not going to win him any points from Orthodox or even the Conservative Jews.
Sanders, born in Brooklyn, once volunteered on an Israeli kibbutz after university, an experience which may have bolstered his socialist views.
As for Judaism, he is not actively involved, and the Burlington, Vermont Free Press reports:
When it comes to the impact of religion on his life, he said, ‘I find myself very close to the teachings of Pope Francis,’ and he described the pope as ‘incredibly smart and brave.’
A quote from Pope Francis also graces Sander’s Sanders for President Facebook page.
Judaism and being Jewish are not part of his public face. The Jewish Telegraph Agency wrote last January after an interview with Sanders, “With a series of observations about the Jewish history of rootlessness and oppression, Sanders begins to describe the role of his lower-middle-class upbringing in forging him into the Congress’ only self-described socialist.
Sanders boycotted Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s speech in Congress last month. He has deep roots in the civil rights and the anti-Vietnam war movements but has tried to remain neutral concerning Israel.
He said a Town Hall meeting in Vermont last year that Israel “over-reacted” to Hamas missile attacks but noted that the terrorist organization attacked from within populated areas and wants to destroy Israel.
If it is good news that this Jew is running for president, pray that he beats Clinton so he can lose the big race.
Below is a video of Sanders explaining why he boycotted Netanyahu’s speech.